Summer is celebrated as a time to soak up some sun in a bathing suit, to break out the sun dresses for those barbeques, and to get a break from the daily heat in some shorts. But, for those who have a negative body image, summertime is not a welcomed or celebrated time. It can be a time plagued with negative thoughts about appearances, that can lead to anxiety, depression, and shame.
Don’t let that happen to you this summer! Start with a few simple ideas to shift your thinking from something negative to something more positive.
Try to appreciate what your body can do, like waking up in the morning, carrying in the groceries, walking the dog, or giving you the good feeling of laughing with your friends. Then, get out there and accept those invitations! Your friends don’t care what you look like, they just want to be with you. Focusing your attention on your friends is much more positive.
So, this summer, shift your thinking and have fun!
Sheri Robenstine: Hi. I’m Sheri from Healthy Futures in Scottsdale, Arizona. Because it’s Arizona, I want to talk a little bit about body image and summer weather in Arizona.
With over 100 degree temperatures, that means shorts, summer dresses, and swimsuits, which, of course, if you have negative body image, that brings up a huge issue in the summertime.
A couple things that I’d like to say about improving body image and enjoying your summer is number one, when you’re having negative body image thoughts, start to appreciate your body for what it can do.
Appreciate that you woke up today, that you’re able to carry something to that party, that you’re able to walk there, that you’re able to swim. Really look at the capabilities of your body, rather than being so negative about the outside appearance of your body.
Number two, when you go to those summer events, actually be there. Be present in those summer events. When you’re invited, don’t say, “I’m not good enough to leave the house,” and stay home.
When you’re invited to Memorial Day barbecues or something that happens over Fourth of July weekend, actually go. Laugh with your friends. Feel what it’s like to be at those events.
If you feel comfortable being with friends and family, they don’t care what you’re wearing. It doesn’t matter to them if you have shorts on or a swimsuit. They just want you to be there and have fun with them.
When you tell yourself really negative things about your body, those things tend to become true. They don’t actually help you change the outer appearance of your body.
You just tell yourself negative things and your brain starts to believe them, which ends up in anxiety, depression, and shame. It doesn’t actually end up with positive body features.
We want to start doing things that are opposite when it comes to body image. When you have yourself hear negative things, tell yourself something positive. Enjoy time with friends and get your attention off of your body and on to the people that you’re around, on to the actual activity that you’re doing.
When negative body image thoughts come up, what you want to do is appreciate your body for what it actually can do. Number two, have fun at the events that you’re going to go to. Get yourself out of the house and go to those events. Bye.
Thank you so much. Enjoy your summer.